Patriotism in America is not exactly at an all-time high right now. So, what am I doing? Collecting patriotic memorabilia, specifically artificts from the Bicentennial. It may not be hot right now, but it will be sooner than everyone thinks.
The 1976 American Bicentennial took place when I was 10, and the Sestercentennial will take place in less than ten years. "Sestercen what?" The Sestercentennial! It will be America's 250th birthday, and every time there is a centennial, there's stuff. In 1976 there were lots of quilts, macrame, crochet, latch hook rugs, string art, decoupage and any number of other arts and crafts.
Centennial artifacts in America are often red, white and blue, the colors of the flag. There are often eagles with shields, arrows and branches, the bird and seal of the United States. There are also lots of stars, since the field of stars is part of the flag.
During the Bicentennial, these colors were a little brighter than the traditional colors. It was a sign of the times. Navy blue went royal and scarlet red went cadmium light.
It is interesting how most of the eagles face one direction, the viewer's left. There is an old romantic tale about the direction of the eagle's head changing in times of war, but according to the history it was only changed once and has remained the same ever since.
The exuberance in centennial objects is not felt quite the same way at other times, but these artifacts give us a good glance back. And they are collectible! And, looking ahead, I feel like there will be great interest in the Bicentennial as we approach the 2026 Sestercentennial.
Most of the time, when I say the word "Sestercentennial" people get puzzled looks on their faces. They'd never heard of it before. The Sestercentennial will be on everyone's radar in a few years. But I'm on it like white on rice...or like royal blue on a Bicentennial quilt.